We are currently going through a lighting revolution. Off-camera flash technology is progressing quickly. The technology for low-noise, high-ISO sensors has improved over the past five years. Flashes are becoming less expensive and coming with more features. If you are not using off-camera flash, there has never been a better time to start. Here are a few of my recommendations for equipment.
Light is pretty much everywhere, you just have to find it. Just because you find light doesn’t mean it is good light. As a full-time wedding photographer, it’s part of my job to find the best light to flatter my subjects. My groom wants to look cool and my bride wants to look beautiful. When good light is available, I’ll certainly use it, but it’s not always there. But guess what is always available? My off-camera flash.
If you’re overwhelmed by the technical side of lighting, don’t fear. You can try these simple approaches to wedding day lighting. As with every part of the wedding day, I apply in-studio lighting techniques to my photographs using my keylight (the main light), hair light (light that separates the subject from the background) and fill light (fills in the shadows). The mood I want to create changes throughout the day as the story I am telling changes, so my light sources vary from natural to artificial.
Why do we covet those last few minutes of light at the end of the day? Obviously, the golden light is much easier to work with. It’s the beauty and versatility of the light that we cherish. Most importantly, it provides us more options for creatively capturing our couple’s love story. The key to successful wedding portraiture at golden hour is flexibility.
There is an expectation for professional wedding photographers to deliver our best work at every single wedding. Location can certainly help with this. It’s a lot easier to create impactful images in the streets of Venice than Flint. Now, I don’t know about you, but I rarely get to shoot in the streets of Venice, and still create artistic, impactful images for my clients on a consistent basis. You need to set yourself up for success.
As photographers and business owners, we need to be celebrities of a sort—potential clients need to know and trust us so they feel confident enough to hire us (and rave about us to others). It’s time to start creating your fame through behind-the-scenes content. Here’s where to start.
My big thing is styled shoots. I love them. I love coming up with a unique concept, obsessing over the details, styling the models and working with vendors for a cohesive design. They also give me a chance to shoot something I want to shoot (as opposed to weddings where I have no control over the timeline, lighting or weather), and they let me practice new poses and lighting ideas.
Effective communication between you and your clients cannot be taken lightly. This determines how pleasant your time with each client will be, not to mention a deciding factor for whether they will even work with you at all.
Being a location portrait photographer has its drawbacks. We are often at the mercy of our environment, which means we are going to be faced with lighting challenges. If your schedule is busy, you won’t always have the luxury of planning all your sessions at sunset. Being forced to learn to overcome these situations, I picked up a few skills that are sure to help any photographer overcome bad lighting on location.
The hierarchy of why people hire a professional photographer in the portrait/social categories goes brides, babies, pets. With brides in…